Accommodative Spasm

What is an accommodative spasm?

When the eyes focus on a near object, the medical term for the focusing is called accommodation. An accommodative spasm is a condition in which the eyes focus constantly or automatically. It can occur after an activity, like reading, in which a person is using their near vision. When a person is reading, the eye focuses on an object close to the face, such as a book or newspaper. After a person stops reading and looks up, the eye should stop focusing. In an accommodative spasm, the eye does not stop focusing. As a result, the eye’s vision stays focused on the close object, causing blurry vision at other distances. 


What are the symptoms of an accommodative spasm?

Symptoms commonly associated with accommodative include blurred vision, changing vision, headaches, eye strain, and difficulty concentrating. 


Who gets accommodative spasm?

An accommodative spasm most often occurs when a person is under stress or when a person is reading for a long period of time. It can happen to students when they are taking notes for a long time or concentrating during a test. Objects at distance can become harder and harder to see.

When accommodative spasms start happening more frequently, it can cause a person to become worried about their vision. The accommodative spasm can then become worse because of stress. 


What is the treatment for accommodative spasm?

In many cases, no treatment is needed because accommodative spasm can get better on its own. If accommodative spasms lasts for a long time, then treatment can be considered. Simple treatments like meditation, relaxation, or taking a vacation can help.  For students, reading glasses can be used. Another treatment is eye drops that can be used to break the focusing cycle. When people suffer from symptoms frequently, sometimes eye exercises are prescribed.